Sunshine Wellness Centre ‘Survivors’ celebration

2013-11-15

Island Health President and CEO Brendan Carr and CRH Chief of Staff Dr. Jeff Beselt (lower right) joined Sunshine Wellness Centre staff and volunteers at a November 6th celebration luncheon marking the end of North Island Hospitals Project site preparation work around the busy centre.

Island Health President and CEO Brendan Carr and CRH Chief of Staff Dr. Jeff Beselt (lower right) joined Sunshine Wellness Centre staff and volunteers at a November 6th celebration luncheon marking the end of North Island Hospitals Project site preparation work around the busy centre.

You could say construction of a new ambulance access route at the Campbell River Hospital site was a piece of cake… but it wasn’t.
The cake came later, at the Sunshine Wellness Centre Survivors Luncheon.

The NIHP team extends its deepest thanks to the SWC staff, volunteers and physicians for their patience and cooperation during this noisy and disruptive time. Of all the site preparation activity at Campbell River Hospital, the most challenging by far was construction of the new ambulance access route which required the deconstruction of the south end of the SWC. Some of the health services offered there had to be moved within the SWC or relocated to other areas of the hospital.

The SWC is a busy, vital place, home to programs including Cancer Care, Diabetes Education, Medical Day Care, North Island Liver Services, Outpatient Nutrition Services, the Pacemaker, Heart Function and Stroke clinics, as well as the Aboriginal Liaison Nurse, the Aboriginal Health Food/Security Dietitian, Telehealth, the Integrated Health Network, and Internal Health.

After six months of drilling, jackhammering, demolition, excavation and other work, the access route was completed. SWC Manager Pauline Melanson felt it was time to celebrate. NIHP Senior Project Coordinator Jennifer Singer agreed. That led to a Nov. 6th ‘Survivors’ Luncheon, complete with hard hats, safety vests, toy tools saying ‘I survived SWC deconstruction 2013’ and of course, a Survivors cake.

“They’ve been amazing,” Melanson said of the staff and volunteers. “We’ve had a lot of noise and vibration but they kept positive and looked after their clients. I think we needed to acknowledge it in a fun way.”

Singer said site prep contractor Palladian Developments did a great job, responding to staff needs. She also praised the SWC staff and volunteers.

“Your patience and grace are so appreciated,” she told the luncheon crowd. “I’m amazed that with six months of construction right on the other side of the walls, that everything was just running so smoothly. Patients were always taken care of. It just seemed like it was always business as usual here. My construction hard hat is off to you for that.”

Island Health President & CEO Brendan Carr attended the celebration as well.

“I think it’s awesome,” he said. “I think it’s a great idea. We don’t celebrate enough. Sometimes we just focus on ‘there’s a challenge’ and we just have to deal with the challenge, but the truth is, oftentimes through those challenges there are opportunities for us to come together as a team and do new things and celebrate and actually have some fun.
“I think it’s a great way to turn something around that was difficult, it was challenging, and obviously people are better off for it, so it’s awesome.”

Those who work in the SWC take pride in their ability to work together to provide client-centred care that meets the needs of everyone, said Melanson, who is also Manager of Chronic Disease Management, Nutrition Therapy Services.

“We believe ‘Every door is the right door’ to access chronic disease care,” she said. “For example, if Rita who is checking a client’s pacemaker, learns that that client is struggling with their diabetes, she will connect that client with the diabetes centre.”

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